Wealth Manager - the site for professional investment managers

Register for full access to Citywire’s Fund Manager database, news and analysis. Registration is free and only takes a minute.

FTSE settles near three-week high ahead of Yellen speech

FTSE settles near three-week high ahead of Yellen speech

The FTSE 100 steadied near a three-week high as investors awaited a speech by Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen at the central bankers shindig in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The UK blue-chip index shed three points to 6,775 with few stocks making major movements. Investors want to see if Yellen offers any clues as to the timing of a US interest rate rise, after minutes from the Fed's open market committee showed debate about whether an earlier-than-expected hike was needed. Positive US economic data released yesterday, showing home sales jumping to a 10-month high and initial jobless claims dropping, has bolstered the argument of those calling for an earlier rise.

'As we head into the end of another positive week for stock markets it is hard to shake a slight feeling of unease as we look ahead to a fairly low key day with no economic data to speak of,' said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

'Another factor keeping investors a little uncertain is Fed chief Janet Yellen's speech later today at Jackson Hole, with the key question being whether she will reinforce the tone of this week's minutes, or whether she attempts to play them down with the traditionally dovish tone she has adopted in recent comments, with most expecting the latter.'

Petrofac (PFC) was the biggest mover on the FTSE 100, falling 2% to £11.04 after Norman Murray resigned as chairman of the oil and gas services group  for 'compassionate reasons', according to the company.

There was more movement on the FTSE Small Cap index, where the battle for control of UK engineering group Hyder Consulting (HYC) took another twist. Dutch group Arcadis (ARDS.AS) has made a new 730p-per-share offer for the group. That trumps Japanese group Nippon Koei UK Topco's (1954.T)'s 680p-per-share offer, which the Japanese group had made in an attempt to gazump Arcadis' previous 650p-per-share approach. Nippon Koei UK Topco said it was considering its position.

Hyder was up 4% at 735.5p on the news.

Leave a comment!

Please sign in or register to comment. It is free to register and only takes a minute or two.
Citywire TV
Play Investment Pulse: the highs and lows of 2014

Investment Pulse: the highs and lows of 2014

This week's Investment Pulse looks back at some of the biggest stories of the year as well as looking forward to 2015.

Play Inside ETFs: Why the US bull-run still has legs

Inside ETFs: Why the US bull-run still has legs

Global equities suffered a sharp sell-off in the third quarter but exchange traded fund investors are continuing to back the US to outperform in 2015

Play Paul Niven: I won't rip up the Foreign & Colonial Trust history book

Paul Niven: I won't rip up the Foreign & Colonial Trust history book

The newly appointed manager of the Foreign & Colonial trust talks about his plans for UK's oldest investment company.

Your Business: Cover Star Club

Manchester wealth firm hires Coutts director for London launch

Manchester wealth firm hires Coutts director for London launch

Former Coutts director Tony Robinson has joined Chartered Wealth Management to head the company’s newly opened London office.

Wealth Manager on Twitter